It took months for spring to finally make a good impression on me.

Sixty-four days after the vernal equinox, while the Earth journeys toward summer solstice, I journey to the nearby Foothills Land Conservancy. I drove its perimeter of fields. And, as the sun beams its full self onto this patch of pasture slathered with dandelions, yellow becomes the color of the day.

Sulphur butterflies have returned from wintering in the south. They flit here and there, the males a bright lemon yellow, the females a lighter, more mellow yellow, almost white. Like me they’re probably happy to be back home to this same spot. For them the field is their breeding site. For me it’s a place to find serenity and enjoy the gifts of nature.

Two Eastern tiger swallowtails make an appearance in the upper part of the field. Their broad wings are edged with black. Four “tiger” stripes taper from the upper-wing margins downward into the body of its yellow wings. I wasn’t close enough to discern male or female, her with a band of blue spots along the underwing. Grace and beauty of the tiger swallowtail has led four states (Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, and South Carolina) to claim this butterfly as a state insect.

In Maine the official insect is the honeybee. But today it wasn’t the honeybee buzzing along conservancy trails. It was a couple of large bumblebees. Had I not looked down at just the right moment, I would have stomped on one. Its striped body was almost a blur gyrating over the yellow blooms of spring’s first plentiful flower, the dandelion. I assumed the bee was a queen newly emerged from her underground winter shelter to “work” the fields, tongue sipping nectar from the base of each floret, hairy legs collecting pollen to be used for protein and larvae food once a new nest is established and eggs are laid.

As I finish my walk the sun still beams, its full self and I am impressed on how the Foothills Land Conservancy beams back its own full brilliance. The final yellow of the day is detected on a transient dragonfly. I think it’s the common sanddragon. The first I’ve ever seen. The slice of yellow at the top of each abdominal segment is like a broken line that marks roads for passing, like the fields of yellow mark the passing of spring into summer.

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